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Tobacco is not only a health issue, but it is also an environmental issue. In honor of Earth Day 2019, the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition (STTAC) collaborated with local organizations to address the issue of tobacco litter. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, making up one third (38%) of all litter collected in the United States. Tobacco waste is a health hazard for children and animals, putting them at risk for ingesting toxic chemicals. This toxic litter also leaches harmful chemicals into the environment. This highlights the need for communities to protect residents and the environment from the harmful effects of tobacco litter.
Throughout the month of April, STTAC and partners organized clean-ups in various locations within Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties. These amazing partnerships led to approximately 8 gallons of cigarette butts being cleaned up in our communities!
Partners for clean ups include, the City of Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell, Community Art of Elmira, Elmira Council Member Brent Stermer, Chemung County Health Department, Able2, Institute for Human Services, Inc., A Reflection of You Counseling & Support Services, LLC, Nascentia Health, Steuben County Public Health, 2-1-1/ LIFE LINE (211 Finger Lakes Region), Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs, and Schuyler County Public Health.
The collected cigarette butts will then be used to create art! Stay tuned to see the "Curbs to Canvas" artwork created by these awesome partners! It will be on display at the May 11th Opening for What Goes Around Comes Around and Curbs to Canvas.
If you are interested in "upcycling" the collected cigarette butts to create visual art, then join us on Saturday, May 4 for the Curbs to Canvas Creative Workshop at Community Arts in Elmira. CLICK HERE to visit the Facebook Event for more details, or call us at (607)737-2858.